BTB #150: Electric Literature Is Shiny New Home for Fiction

Scott LindenbaumTired of hearing that literary fiction is doomed in the digital age? Well, Scott Lindenbaum and Andy Hunter, were – in fact they became so tired of hearing that Kindles and computers were killing literary fiction, the pair from Brooklyn College started an online literary journal with a twist: They charged real money for it, and they paid the contributors.

Today, Electric Literature publishes its third issue. As before, the quarterly features five pieces of short fiction for which the editors have paid the writers $1,000 each. Readers can subscribe in every viable medium: paperback; eBook; Kindle; and iPhone editions are all available, priced from $3.95 to $9.95 each. The enterprising approach has even caught the attention of old-line media at the New York Times.

Then, last fall, Electric Literature sponsored a literary first – and generated controversy, too – by publishing a novel through Twitter. “Each tweet came out every ten minutes for about three days,” Lindenbaum explains. “It was a micro serialization, if you will.” It was also not entirely a success, but not a failure at all either, as he tells Chris Kenneally.

Electric Literature Cover

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